Full text: Problems in eugenics

6Section I.S. Hansen. 
There is a great persistence in human physical forms, the variability is 
minimum after the formation of the races, and does not effect the changes 
of type. The same fact can be noticed for the external characteristics of man, 
such as the colour of the skin, the colour and form of the hair, and the 
colour of the iris. It is solely in the crossings that there can be intermediary 
formations which have not indefinite heredity, because the segregation of 
characteristics takes place also in this case. 
But the studies and observations on this matter are still incomplete, 
especially according to the mendelian theory, and there is need of new 
and careful observation. 
As to the pathological inheritance, there exist facts that confirm it in a 
general way, but the laws under which this heredity occurs have not been 
fully verified. 
POPULATIONS. (Abstract.) 
By Soren Hansen, M.D., 
Director of the Danish Anthropological Survey, Copenhagen. 
The improvement in stature in many European countries during the past 
50 years is generally ascribed simply to improved hygienic and economic 
conditions, but the question is> really very intricate. The presence of differ­ 
ent racial elements, social selection with its tendency to draw the well- 
made into towns, and the falling death-rate, etc., complicate the investiga­ 
tions. In all countries there is a great lack of truly comparable data from' 
earlier years. The British Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical 
Deterioration, for example, though it collected an enormous amount of 
material, was unsuccessful in its endeavours to solve the main question. 
Single cases, e.g., the comparison of factory children with the boys of 
the York Quaker school (Anthropometric Committee, Brit. Ass. 1883), are 
certainly of great interest, but how can such cases be taken to represent the 
average ? 
Other countries possess a rich source of information in their conscription 
lists. Thus, in Denmark these lists show an unmistakable increase of 
3.7 cm. (i| inch) in the average height of the adult Dane during the past 
50-60 years. Similar increases are noted from Norway, Sweden and 
Holland. This increase suggests that there may have been more or less 
periodic waves of increase and decrease in height, since, on the one hand,

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